ARC REVIEW&GUEST POST: The Outerlands by Jared Lopatin
Published March 31st 2015 by Createspace
YA > Retelling | Fantasy
arc via tour host
BLURB FROM GOODREADS:
Alex didn’t want to die, but he just couldn’t take it anymore. Dwight’s pills seemed to promise escape… and escape is exactly what he gets. He ends up in a world reminiscent of his childhood Wonderland, but nothing is as it was in Alice’s day. The Outerlands are a twisted version of his favorite story, with strange characters and unnatural dangers. Before he can get used to his new home, it’s threatened by an outside force.
Will Alex ever find a place where he feels safe?
Welcome to my stop on the THE OUTERLANDS tour! Alice in Wonderland retelling are all over the ya book-esphere but let me tell you something: this book will syrprise you. I really enjoyed this story and I just fell in love with out hero, Alex. Read my review and Jared’s exciting guest post about characters in THE OUTERLANDS. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the bottom! 🙂
Since Jared has an exciting Guest Post for us, I will keep my review short. If there’s one word to describe The Outerlands, I would choose the word CREATIVE. I was lost inside of this book, and if I’d be the one to choose.. I will not go out.
I read Alice in Wonderland a long time ago. I even watched the Disney movie. But even with all of that, I admit that I forgot most of the things that happened. The Outerlands is an incredible take of Alice’s Wonderland. Like I said, it was creative. It was also magical, enthralling and written in the most impressive way. Its a bit hard to believe that this is a debut novel.
The characters are the gem of this book. They’re all well written. Insane. You can’t help but love them all. Alex is our hero, and my heart just totally feels for him. He’s a fifteen bookish boy that is being bullied by Jack and his minions. The first chapter was so hard to read since I’m not fond of bullying scenes. Though I do not agree with all of Alex’s decision, I understand the feeling of wanting to disappear. And with the help of Dwight and his pills, he got what he wanted.
The Outerlands is an interesting world to get lost into. While reading, I got the feeling of being transported to a whole new world. From every chapter, you will notice some things that will remind you of Alice’s adventures. But Jared put his own twist in every chapter and it came out impressively. I cannot wait for more from this author.
Read below to get to know the characters and the world of The Outerlands!!
Getting to know the characters and the setting of the book.
The charm of THE OUTERLANDS is that the world is recognizable, if only marginally so. If you know your Wonderland of Alice’s day, you know to expect the unexpected and nothing is ever what it seems to be. The main character, Alex, is a bookish young man and it is through Alex that you will get to meet all of the zany characters that make up the Outerlands. First and foremost, you should know that the Outerlands are divided into two lands – Carddesville and Chessterfield – by a long river called the Interglass. On the Carddesville side of the river, you will find Bill; Sidney March, Madeleine Hatter, and Domo; Reyna de Corazon, King, and Jack; and of course, Cat. Bill is one of the seedier Outerlanders, for he makes his living dealing suspicious substances under the nose of the reigning monarch of Carddesville, Reyna de Corazon. She, with her husband, King, commands her subjects with a firm hand and a fierce temper. She is jealously protective of her son, Jack, who simply wants to fall in love and get married. Among her subjects are the three who run the Out Inn: Sidney, Madeleine, and Domo. Sidney March is the founder of the Inn and Domo is a small boy who mans the door to help guests. Madeleine is the finest hat-maker in all of the Outerlands and a dear friend of Sidney’s. She can often be found at the Inn, relishing a cup of tea and enjoying funny stories and songs. Then, there’s Cat. Cat, who sometimes goes by the name of Pilar, is a transplant from the real world, just like Alex, though she has since become a true Outerlander. With a splotch across her face that earned her the ridicule of her peers, she escaped to the Outerlands and decided to stay. She has ever since been roaming the lands, popping up here and there to offer help, or sometimes, make mischief. On the Chessterfield side of the Outerlands, you may run into the OWL; Rose and Lily; Abe Arthur Cary; C.C., Blanche, Beau, and Dwight; or Gavin. Near the banks of the Integlass lives the Outerlander Welcoming Liaison, commonly known as the OWL. It is he who makes sure that every Outerlander follows the right story thread. Nearby live the Flower Children, the head of which is Lily and her daughter, Rose. Beware the Flower Children, for they will entrap you with their indolent addiction. Abe is Bill’s boss, creating the substances that Bill will sell. Abe is also a favorite of the Red Queen, C.C. She is one of four monarchs on the Chessterfield side. Her brother, Beau, is married to the White Queen, Blanche. They live in an area called the Blush, where anyone and everyone can mix. Blanche’s brother, Dwight, is not easy to find, dwelling among the forests. At one time, the land was ravaged by civil war, Red against White, but with the marriage of Beau and Blanche, has settled into a comfortable peace. This leaves Gavin, the White Knight, with not much to do, unless a helpless traveler might come along. These are only a smattering of the characters to be met on your journey through either Carddesville or Chessterfield, and you should always keep your eye out for Tweeners, for they can appear anywhere!
Originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Jared fell in love with stories at a very young age. This love led him to major in English and Theatre, a decision that brought him many adventures, such as performing in Footloose, Cats, and West Side Story.
His first full novel, Rising Sign, was started backstage during a production of South Pacific in Indiana. Five years later, his debut novel was complete and he headed back to school for his Masters in Special Education. By the time he graduated, he had written the following two books in the trilogy, Ruling House and Returning Planet. He used his school experiences as a base for his standalone novel, Let’s Play It By Ear. His newest novels, The Outerlands and The Good Witch are slated for release in 2015.
Jared currently lives in New York City with his cats, Benedick and Beatrice. He works during the day as a high school English teacher and theatre director at a Deaf school.